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Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers VII

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Question #1:  

So here's something I personally believe about God, and I'll have to explain something else to make it make sense.

So you know how VS debating is the art of trying to figure out "who would win in a fight between 2 fictional characters"? I don't think I've talked about it with you before. I'm an active vs debater and of course as you know, a fellow believer.

In vs debating, we have these things we use to measure a character's power called "tiers", there being 13 of them in total, with subtiers A, B, and C in all but the highest. Now this is where it might get a bit confusing. There any MANY tiers of infinite power, each one of these infinite ranges being called a "dimension", each higher dimension infinitely Transcending the ones bellow them. The lowest level of infinite power is 3 dimensional, or 3-A, also called Universal. There are infinite of these dimensions, and even infinite levels for Transcending the concept of dimensions...yeah, a lot of fictional stories have higher and lower dimensions in their cosmology, which is why we have the dimensional tiers. And this tiering of infinite infinite infinites...for infinite infinite infinities....this can go on literally forever, is the 2nd highest tier, 1-A, also called Outerversal. And now we FINALLY get to what I was talking about, the tier that transcends this insane hierarchy and reaches the truest, most absolute form of the concept of infinity. In other words, absolute omnipotence. This is called Tier 0, also called Boundless, and is the highest tier is vs debating.

Quite a lot of philosophy just to figure out how strong a fictional character is, huh?

This idea of Boundless is how I interpret God being almighty. Is this in any way right? I mean, reading your Bible basics it seems you believe this too, or at least something similar.

And also, I came to this belief from reading your Bible Basics on Theology, at least part of it. Am I misunderstanding what you say in it?

Why do you say the human imagination is evil and sinful? Is it really so bad to come up with stories in our head and use our God given creativity to create new things? Unless you're actually going to suggest the absurd notion that creativity is demonic.

Response #1: 

When you say, "this belief", do you mean, "This idea of Boundless is how I interpret God being almighty"? If that is the case, you'd have to explain "Boundless" to me. That word and concept is not a biblical one, and I'm not into debating or apologetics myself (this is a Bible teaching ministry). God is infinite in every way. To me, "boundless" might mean something like that, but the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers used that term (to apeiron) to describe something like deity, but part of the physical universe. One has to understand that God is not "bounded" by time and space to (partially) appreciate His infinity.

As to creativity, I don't believe I ever said "the human imagination is evil and sinful". Can you point me to where you found that quotation? I do find the likes of these verses in scripture, however:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Jeremiah 17:9 KJV

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.
Romans 7:18 NKJV

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:  

Sorry, I guess I misunderstood something you said.

I tried my best to explain Boundless in my email. If you want a simple explanation, it simply means infinite in every way imaginable, and pretty much omnipotent.

BTW, tier 0 characters in vs debating are almost always banned from battles because of this. I mean, how would an omnipotent being exactly lose a fight?

Response #2: 

I don't think it's your fault. One can't expect comic-book writers to understand the infinity and majesty of God . . . when even most believers and many pastors and theologians don't get it.

Question #3:  

Hello--Long time, no write! I hope this finds you well. I am fine. I have a Hebrew grammar question for you. First, here are the verses in question from Genesis 3, NASB 1995:

"And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall [d]bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

A Roman Catholic I know insists it is the woman who will crush the serpent's head. He wrote on CARM:

"The Hebrew pronoun used can be translated 'he, she or it.'
'She' is grammatically correct."

Anyway, I would like to know what the true pronoun is here, in the bolded part. I know seed--zera--in Hebrew is masculine, isn't it?

Anyway, thanks for your help. God bless!

Response #3: 

Simple one!

The Hebrew MT has hu' (הוּא) here which masculine only in Hebrew with the meaning "he" (feminine "she" is הִיא)/ hiy'); also, the verb has masculine pronoun prefix yodh (יְשוּפְךָ), not the feminine one, which is tav (cf. v.6: תִּקַּח).

So, yes, it has to be "He shall crush"; it can NOT be "she" because the Hebrew says that discretely and differently (no ambiguity here at all).

Incidentally, as can be intuited from the first paragraph above, it's a running joke among English speaking Hebrew students that in Hebrew, "hiy is 'she' and hu' is 'he' ".  Maybe that reversal in sounds is what tripped your correspondent up.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #4:   

Doctor, did Adam and Eve fulfill the Genesis mandate of being fruitful and multiplying after he sinned or before he sinned?

What does the word nephilim mean? What is Moses trying to say by sons of God and daughters of man in Genesis chapter six?

Response #4: 

On "be fruitful and multiply", that was an "Eden command", and our first parents were ejected from Eden before they even began to fulfill it (no pregnancy or birth until after the fall, as it happened). However, the command was repeated to Noah and his family after the flood (Gen.9:1; 9:7), and also to Jacob and his family (Gen.35:11). So anyone who wants to find fault with Christians having children is totally out of bounds with such Marxist, evolutionist, climate-change-babble satanic tripe. Marriage is not easy (1Cor.7:28), but having a family is a large part of the point of getting married and always has been.

As to Genesis chapter six, there is a great deal on this at Ichthys. I'll give you some links below. The gist is that the "sons of God" are fallen angels who cohabited with human women to produce the half-man, half-angel nephilim. The word means "fallen ones" and bespeaks their parentage. This was an attempt by Satan to fatally corrupt the human race by eliminating any trace of true humanity, but Noah (along with his family) was "perfect in his generations", and the flood wiped out that evil strain of half-humans. Since that time, there have been little to no incidents of this sort because the fallen angels involved were confined in the Abyss and no angel wants to be cast into that lightless place (cf. Lk.8:31). However, antichrist is definitely one of these creatures (the devil is his father: "your seed" of Gen.3:15 addressed the serpent possessed by Satan), and I have speculated that the ten kings of Revelation may be so as well (because of their otherwise incomprehensible allegiance to the beast). Here are those links (which will lead to others):

Satan's antediluvian attack on the purity of the human line (the Nephilim), in SR 5

The Nephilim of Gen.6

Doubts about the Nephilim in Genesis 6

The Origin and Fate of the "Giants" of Genesis Chapter Six

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #5: 

I had a fantastic time there and felt quite humbled by the privilege of seeing so many prize specimens of these stunning insects!!

Did you know that some female moths are completely flightless and some do not have wings (or vestigial ones) and so rely on hitching a ride on birds to get from plant to plant! Even some of their ovum survive being eaten (through a shell which cannot be digested) and are also deposited through birds from plant to plant!

How anyone cannot see design in all of this or something beyond evolution boggles the mind, it really does. We truly serve an awesome God. Now that truly is something to boast about!!

Response #5: 

Never seen so many beautiful moths in my life. Nice pictures!

Excellent point about God's design. How can things develop like that "by accident"? You really have to have "drunk the Kool-aid" to think it possible for these incredibly beautiful and complex creations – or any other life on this planet – could be the result of "evolution" (see the link). It defies logic – and also the laws of physics: cf. the 2nd law of thermodynamics, e.g., which states that entropy is ever increasing whereas the development of more complex structures to the point of producing life through natural physical processes ought to be beyond impossible – which it is. Only God can give life.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #6:  

Hello Bob,

Hoping you are yours are in good health and doing well.

I am just wondering about Genesis 2, where we get the word brooding of the Holy Spirit? And what would be the original Hebrew for it? Or how did we come to use this word? I think if the Holy Spirit is brooding it says a lot about what happened between Genesis 1 and 2.

Many thanks once again

Response #6: 

The verb is merachephet (from rachaph). It's not a common verb in Hebrew. It only occurs elsewhere at Deuteronomy 32:11 where the eagle is said to "stir up" her nest; and in Jeremiah 23:9 where the prophet says that his bones are "trembling". So it means something like "move rhythmically".

What we have here is a very graphic description of the Spirit's restraining ministry (see the link) with this verb indicating total coverage and protection . . . from any further satanic intervention. The judgment leveled upon the universe on account of Satan's revolt was not going to be allowed by God to be changed – until He was willing to change it, and the Spirit's restraining ministry described by this verb guaranteed no further such until the seven days of re-creation. And that reconstruction is exactly what God begins to do in the next verse, on the other side of the Genesis gap (link), untold eons after the original creation.

Hope you are doing well too, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #7: 

Thank you so much my most highly esteemed acquaintance. Dear Bob I can barely extract my attention from a third read of your five part series of the Satanic Rebellion. I am currently meditating on Part 2, The Genesis Gap. I don’t know, I guess it’s just the way God made me but I am a big picture guy and I find these obscure subjects such as the Genesis Gap so crucial to understand correctly and you have not neglected to address every word that God that is given to us to understand and believe the breadth of God’s council. Thank you brother and if I can someday break away from this current meditation then I will dive in to your next labor. You are truly a gift to the body of Christ, a teacher well prepared and a kind individual, thanks again Bob for remembering me. God Bless.

Response #7:

Thanks so much for the encouraging words!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #8: 

Dr. Luginbill,

I am reaching out to you because I discovered Ichthys.com some time ago and have been blessed by its contents and wanted to thank you for taking the time to treat the study of God’s Word both with the academic rigor and childlike wonder it commands.

I especially want to thank you for elucidating the Genesis Gap. I have long suspected that “young earth” vs. “old earth” creationism is a false dichotomy, even one that is used as a tool of division within the body of Christ. The solution to this quandary definitely appears to be the Genesis Gap. What you have put forward regarding the Gap is both well-reasoned and fascinating.

There are many other topics you have broached for which I could elaborate my appreciation, but I will simply say thank you for putting together the wonderful resource that is Ichthys.com

As a side note: I regret to have gone through 4 years of undergraduate work at the University of Louisville without ever having the opportunity to meet you or take your courses. I am surprised – honestly, shocked – that a professor such as yourself who is clearly a true follower of our Lord Jesus Christ is on staff at the university. I am always so floored when I see intellectuals/academics of true faith in Jesus Christ.

It gives me great joy and encouragement to read and be challenged by your work. Maybe we will meet one day when the earth finally experiences the untold blessing of our King Jesus Christ reigning supreme from His throne in Jerusalem. I certainly hope so.


Response #8: 

Good to make your acquaintance! And thanks so much for your good and encouraging words about this ministry! I'm sorry to have missed out having you as a student as well – I'm sure you'd have been a great one! Do feel free to write back any time, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #9:  

Dr. Luginbill,

Thank you for your warm response. I realize now that I misspelled the site name: “ichthys.com” – my apologies for that error.

During my time at the university, I was not a practicing Christian. I was a nominal Christian having made a profession of faith and been baptized, but was not living in active faith. It is a miracle that I did not become a full fledged Marxist in my thinking from my time in the Humanities Dept. I started out in History and switched to English; I had one of the largest possible doses of Marxist critical theory one could take at the university.

I’m not sure I would have appreciated you like I should have then; fortunately, now, I get to appreciate your work having gone through some degree of chastisement and abasement as well as blessing. This blessing includes miraculous answers to both my prayers and the prayers of others. Of all the things that fascinate me about our God, the most astonishing is that He condescends to hear and answer our prayers. I cannot even fathom that reality, but I have lived it and I believe it.

I am grateful for your taking the time to correspond with me and I look forward to any future conversation we may have.


Response #9: 

No worries – "Ichthys" is difficult to spell!

I've never taken any classes at U of L (only taught them here for thirty years). I'd be curious to know what classes / profs gave you those doses of Marxism. I don't hang around with university colleagues after work and haven't for many years, and the ones I work most closely with are teaching language for the most part which is practical and not theoretical.

Prayers answered are great! And of course the Lord hears them all . . . and graciously does NOT answer ones that are ill-considered. God is good in every way.

Happy to hear from you!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #10: 

[From Bibledocs statement of purpose]

Ichthys teaches a doctrine known as the Genesis gap that holds that God blacked out the universe after the rebellion of Satan and his followers between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, making the creation account in Genesis actually an account of re-creation. (Incidentally, this explains the age of the universe, the age of earth, the bulk of the fossil record, and reconciles Ezekiel 28:11ff. with Satan's already-fallen state in Genesis 3). Contrast this with all the other more-common positions on creation, such as day-age theory, 6,000-year-old young earth creationism, theistic evolution, and so forth.

Response #10: 

An excellent summary, my friend!

Question #11:  

Hi!!!!!Bob, had to use your email mine is not working. What is the difference between Genesis 1:3 and Genesis 1:14-15. Are there two different light sources? Thank you my friend,

Response #11: 

Good to see you haven't worn out your "slammer key" just yet, my friend!!

In Genesis 1:3, the Lord brings light out of total darkness, but it is diffused and not centralized; in Genesis 1:14-15, He gathers the light into discrete places (sun and moon and stars), analogously to His gathering of the universal deep which had flooded everything into similarly discrete places (waters above and waters below, with these latter eventually be gathered into seas). Originally, light was everywhere and, we suppose, there was no water barrier anywhere. And we know that in the eternal state there will be "no more sea" (Rev.21:1) and no more night / lack of light, as the Father and the Son will illuminate everything by their glory (Rev.22:5). So the present, contemporary situation (where there is partial dry land and partial sea, partial light and partial darkness) is only temporary and will only obtain during the present unseen conflict until the end of history when God is "all in all" (1Cor.15:28). At that time there will be no more sea (preventing parts of the earth from being utilized) and no more night (so that all our time may be spent in appreciating the Lord).

How we long for that day!

On the email, I've been having a good deal of trouble lately as well. A number of services have been blocking my emails for some reason (while, of course, actual scammers and spammers have no trouble getting through). BigPond and Live.com are two of these. So if I ever fail to respond, please, do keep resending until I do and I'll get the hint eventually (since yours are getting through) and try a work-around. Also, please let me know if you don't receive this email (LOL).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #12:  

Hi Bob,

Starting this business has been a lot of fun, but I can tell you it's been my toughest trial yet. I have a competitive spirit that can get sinful all too quickly, and operating in a capitalist environment has been tough to not be covetous and to stay the course. I am working on being more patient and letting the Lord direct me in the best course so as to avoid this deadly trap. Altogether I think this thing is going to the work if I can just be careful to focus on the treasures above and not the transit things on this earth.

Genesis 2:5-9 (NASB) 5 Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 6 But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. 8 The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. 9 Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Question: Why does this account read so much differently from Chapter 1. It’s almost like there is one creation event and then it is stated in a different order.

I am sure you have answered this one before, but maybe you can direct me to it.

In the grace of our Lord and Savior,

Response #12: 

I'm keeping you in prayer for the business.

On Genesis chapter two, it's typical in literature generally – and the Bible in particular – to give an overview first, and then to return to the subject later in order to flesh out critical parts of it. Otherwise one would have to patch long digressions into the overview or leave it out entirely. In relating any series of events, those really are the only choices. Part of the problem in this particular instance is the misunderstanding (and resultant mistranslation) one finds in many accounts and versions. Here is my translation of that part:

(4) These (i.e., the previous verses from Gen.1:1 to this point) are the generations of the heavens and the earth in their creation (i.e., the history of their fashioning) throughout the entire period that the Lord God fashioned earth and heavens (i.e., from the beginning of original creation through the period of reconstruction during the seven days).
[new paragraph]
(5) Now this (i.e., what was related up to the point of Adam's creation) was before any wild foliage existed on the earth and before any wild herbage had sprouted, for the Lord had not yet caused rain to fall upon the earth, and Man did not exist to till the soil. [what follows is a "flashback", so to speak, to give a more detailed account of events on the sixth day]
Genesis 2:4-5

Here are some links to where this is covered in detail:

The Genesis 2:4 Summary

The Genesis Gap (SR 2)

"Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers VI"

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers V

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers IV

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers III: Creationism, Neanderthals, Fossil Record

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers II

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers.

Waters Above, the Firmament, and the Genesis Gap.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #13:  

Hi Bob and family,

Thank you for your response to my question about stopping annoying ads – as you say it’s not my site so I guess I will have to live with what I’m dealt with. Nevermind.

On another topic that I’m confused about – that is, on which day or days were Adam and Eve created? I understand from Genesis 1: 26, 27 that it would appear to have happened on the sixth day of God’s re-construction of the earth. Then in Genesis 2: 1, it says, Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And in Psalm 33: 6, there is a reference to the underlined scripture, which adds by the breath of His mouth and would suggest that He simply spoke it into existence. And in Genesis verse 2 it says, And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. Then in the end of verse 5 it says, there was not a man to till the ground. This is what is confusing – as it is dissimilar, or contrasting with Genesis 1: 26, 27. (I don’t know of a better way to put that.) In verse 7 we read, And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

The confusing part is, one could mistake or misconstrue that Adam was made on the eighth day, after God rested. How should one connect all this together, are these scriptures both metaphorical and literal? (again, I don’t know of a better way to put that.)

I understand both chapters in the sense that I believe it was so but they are confusing in trying to understand the actual timeline – whether it was before, or after God rested and I want to get it right – and were Adam and Eve both created on the same day?

As always dear Bob,

Response #13: 

Sorry not to have a solution for you on that one. I've never allowed ads on Ichthys.

On your question, Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day, just as it says at Genesis 1:26-27.

Genesis 2:4 is often misunderstood. This verse provides a summary statement of what preceded. What follows in verse five begins a more detailed description of the events on day six.

(4) These (i.e., the previous verses from Gen.1:1 to this point) are the generations of the heavens and the earth in their creation (i.e., the history of their fashioning) throughout the entire period that the Lord God fashioned earth and heavens (i.e., from the beginning of original creation through the period of reconstruction during the seven days).
[new paragraph]
(5) Now this (i.e., what was related up to the point of Adam's creation) was before any wild foliage existed on the earth and before any wild herbage had sprouted, for the Lord had not yet caused rain to fall upon the earth, and Man did not exist to till the soil. [what follows is a "flashback", so to speak, to give a more detailed account of events on the sixth day]
Genesis 2:4-5

This sort of thing is very common in literature or in any relating of a complicated story, namely, to give an overview, and then to go back and concentrate on some part of the period described which needs to be fleshed out in more detail.

You can find what I've written about this at the link: in SR 2: The Genesis 2:4 Summary

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #14:   

Hi Bob,

That’s OK, I will live with it, there are worse things.

Thank you for your valued help on that question – if I had thought more about verse 4 in the way you’ve explained I might have seen it instead of trying to make sense of untangling the information in the two chapters.

As usual, your simple explanation clears it up, so again thank you.

As always my friend,

Response #14: 

No worries! Plenty of translations misunderstand the issue; that is clear from the way they punctuate the verse. Here's the NIV, for example:

[v.4a] This is the account of the heavens and earth when they were created.

[double break in NIV's spacing to indicate new paragraph]

[v.4b] When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens – [v.5] and no shrub of the field had yet appeared . . .

So they split verse four when it shouldn't be split and then apply the second half to what follows when in fact all of verse four looks backward to what has just been said. Therein lies the problem.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #15: 

Sir, I see you are a proponent of the Gap Principle of Genesis. How would you answer the Young Earther who protests that the “Gap Theory cannot be true since there was no death before the fall”? Thank you for your time.

Response #15: 

Good to make your acquaintance.

I think the first thing I would do is ask for clarification.

1) When I hear "death" I'm thinking primarily of us human beings. There were no human beings until after the restoration of the seven days, so there was no one to die before the Genesis gap either. Also, while I have demonstrated many places at Ichthys how modern science makes a lot of incorrect assumptions about cosmology (see the link), there are, in fact fossils – and all fossils are remnants of things once alive, and thus, by definition, now dead. There were dinosaurs, after all (see the link as to speculation about their origin). We would have to stick our heads in the sand analogous to "flat-earthers" – to which "young earthers" are not much different – to deny that these things existed or to attribute them to the great flood, as if there were dinosaurs in Noah's day! Just because evolution is a ridiculous myth does not give us the right to create equally ridiculous myths to which scripture gives no support at all.

2) This is really not the way biblical interpretation works – or should. The medieval period is filled with individuals arguing theology based upon hypothetical principles and the result was gobbledygook. One major reason for that was that the "principles" themselves were usually off or absolutely incorrect, and then these so-called "principles" were misapplied in theoretical ways which are not consistent with sound biblical interpretation. That is just what we have here underlying this question posed to you too. Better is looking at the Bible and seeing what it actually says. If the Bible clearly teaches something, then any contrary person who says "That can't be true because XYZ are then logically impossible" can be dismissed: if the Bible says it is true, then it is true:

Before all else, God created the heavens and the earth. But the earth came to be ruined and despoiled . . .
Genesis 1:1-2a

I've written a great deal about this issue. The most recent link (from which many others will be found) is "Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers VI" (see down in Q/A #5 for more links).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #16:  

Hi Bob,

I'm currently working on some notes on Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 as initial content for my ministry. In the process of writing my own material, I've gone back and read some relevant parts of SR2.

I too argue against taking Genesis 1:1 as a summary statement (and quote part of SR2 in support of this). However, it seems to me like SR2 mostly argues against the summary position, and does not address the secondary false position wherein someone accepts that Genesis 1:1 is describing ex nihilo creation (rather than being a summary) but argues that Genesis 1:2ff. is part of the same "creation cycle" as Genesis 1:1 because they don't see a gap between 1:1 and 1:2.

Here's a quote from SR2 hopefully demonstrating what I'm talking about:

A second problem with taking Genesis 1:1 as a summary of what follows rather than an event in its own right is to be found in the grammatical connection between verses one and two. Following the description of God's ex nihilo creation of heaven and earth in verse one, we have, in the Hebrew, a disjunctive construction at the beginning of verse two. The combination of the connective waw and a nominal form (as opposed to a finite verb) indicates strong contrast in the Hebrew. That is to say, what we have beginning in verse two is a "but", not an "and".(4) Grammatically speaking then, we are on much firmer ground in translating "but the earth . . .", rather than "and the earth . . ." (KJV). This rendering to which the actual language of the verse points so insistently (despite all speculation to the contrary) has produced mere head-scratching for those who hold to the summary interpretation. But for those who are willing to follow where the Word of God actually leads, it is an unmistakable sign post, one which points inescapably to a definite gap between the Bible's two initial verses, a hiatus in the action which demands attention and invites investigation. Clearly, something dramatic must have transpired to account for this stark contrast between verses one and two. The Genesis Gap, therefore, is unmistakably present in the original Hebrew, representing a clear interruption in the narrative between God's original, perfect creation of the world, and His subsequent re-creation of a world ruined by Satan's revolt:

Before all else, God created the heavens and the earth. But the earth came to be ruined and despoiled . . .
Genesis 1:1-2a

Logic, grammar and (as we shall see immediately below) context all argue for what by now should be apparent: verse one describes in simple, straight-forward terms God's creation of the world out of nothing, while what follows, beginning with the disjunctive clause of verse two, describes the state of affairs resulting from Satan's revolt. This is followed in turn by God's reconstruction of the world to make it once again habitable for an entirely new species of moral creature through whom it will be God's good pleasure to repudiate the devil's revolt beyond any shadow of a doubt, a species created "a little lower than the angels" (Ps.8:5) but destined to rise above them: mankind.(5)

II. The Context of Judgment in Genesis Chapter 1: If the language of Genesis 1:1-2 argues for a gap between original creation and the seven days of re-creation, the context of what follows the first sentence in the Word of God would seem to demand it. The contextual problems involved in taking Genesis 1:1 as a summary rather than an event in its own right are daunting indeed, especially if one stipulates a grammatically correct translation of the two verses:

Before all else, God created the heavens and the earth. But the earth came to be ruined and despoiled – darkness lay upon the face of the abyss while God's Spirit brooded over the surface of its waters.
Genesis 1:1-2

1. The Description of Earth in Genesis 1:2: The ruination and destruction of the earth under Satan's pre-historic rule is aptly described by the Hebrew phrase tohu wa-bhohu (i.e., "ruined and despoiled": תהו ובהו). Many creative (and misleading) translations have been offered in an effort to remove the difficulties caused by a literal translation of this phrase. For the description of earth in a clearly devastated condition causes obvious problems for the summary-statement interpretation of verse one: since God creates only perfection, how and why and when could the earth have come to be so ravaged if no gap is to be understood between verses one and two?

It's not really that SR2 creates a straw-man out of the summary position, but it does seem to me like it kind of presents it as the only other option; that the options are "Genesis 1:1 as summary position" and "Genesis gap" with no position of "Genesis 1:1 as ex nihilo creation but no Genesis gap" ever described nor explicitly refuted.

Now, by no means am I trying to say that SR2 does not contain enough to refute this third position I am describing. The grammar of the disjunctive waw and meaning of tohu wa-bhohu are still sufficient for arguing that there is a definite disconnect between 1:1 and 1:2.


I am bringing all this up because I wanted to make it crystal clear in my own writing that the Genesis gap does not itself rise and fall on refuting the summary position. That is, even if someone is willing to call the summary position false and accept that Genesis 1:1 speaks of ex nihilo creation, the Genesis gap is still mandated by the grammar, meaning that 1:2ff. must be talking about re-creation.

Does the point I am bringing up make sense? Is there a reason why the summary position is refuted so heavily in SR2 while no mention is made of the position that accepts 1:1 as ex nihilo creation but takes 1:2ff. as conjunctive rather than disjunctive?

I'm not trying to say SR2 is insufficient or anything. Everything it says is 100% true: the observations do refute the summary position. It's just been in my own experience that when I bring up the Genesis gap, usually it's not the distinction between ex nihilo creation vs. Genesis 1:1 as summary position that people live and die on (many seem fine conceding the former), but that there is a strong disconnect betwen 1:1 and 1:2.

Maybe I'm missing the point of SR2's emphasis?

Your brother in Christ,

Response #16: 

As to "the secondary false position wherein someone accepts that Genesis 1:1 is describing ex nihilo creation (rather than being a summary) but argues that Genesis 1:2ff. is part of the same "creation cycle" as Genesis 1:1 because they don't see a gap between 1:1 and 1:2": This position makes no sense so it doesn't rate serious consideration in the main offering, SR 2 (I have dealt with it elsewhere).

1) Verse one says that the heavens and the earth were created.

2) But in verse two they are not created – they already exist.

3) Since verse one is solely about creation, and since verse two describes a situation which has to be after creation, then verse one can't be a summary of verse two (since creation unarguably happens first), nor can verse two be a summary of verse one (since it doesn't describe creation at all, which is the only thing verse one talks about).

Therefore people who subscribe to this "alternative false view" haven't thought out carefully what the verses actually say in any translation that's in print. For that reason I have focused on translating and explaining what the verses actually say, but have also taken pains to debunk the most prominent "scholarly" theory which "explains" Genesis.

Apologies in advance if I've misread your question (wouldn't be the first time!).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17: 

Hi Bob,

The hard thing about this -- as I've come to realize in now seriously putting together ministry materials -- is that there is an infinite variety of wrong ways to take things... and sometimes the systems of logic people use are inconsistent enough that they are difficult to argue against in the first place.

All this to say, I 100% understand the principle of "address serious (false) alternative interpretations and ignore less serious ones" -- after all, we have such limited time.

So it makes sense to me why you would focus on refuting what seems to you a more plausible alternative theory in SR2 rather than spending precious space on something else that doesn't rate as worthy of debunking in your view.


With all that being said, I don't really understand the flow of logic from your email (i.e., why the position I mentioned is so preposterous that it is not even worthy of addressing). I've rubbed my eyes and even slept on it, but I still don't get how things are fitting together.

That is to say, I don't see how what you have written makes the "Genesis 1:1 talks about the general creation of the heavens and the earth, and then 1:2 picks up talking about God doing more things to the earth that was just created in 1:1" position completely untenable on the face of it. Here's what you say in point (3):

Since verse one is solely about creation, and since verse two describes a situation which has to be after creation, then verse one can't be a summary of verse two (since creation unarguably happens first), nor can verse two be a summary of verse one (since it doesn't describe creation at all, which is the only thing verse one talks about).

The whole point of the position I am asking about is that people aren't looking at things in terms of summaries. They say that God created the universe (heavens and earth) in verse 1 -- that Genesis 1:1 is a historical statement of ex nihilo creation -- and then that 1:2 picks up right on the heels of this initial creation.

You say in point (2) that the heavens and the earth are not created but "already exist." Is that not the whole point of what I am asking -- that people say that they already exist because God created them just immediately prior (in verse 1)?

Why is this so silly a position?

I feel like I'm not explaining this very well, so I'm sorry for that. I'd be happy to try and explain what I'm asking again if it still doesn't seem clear to you.

Yours in Christ,

Response #17:

Now you've got me "scratching my head".

If someone is saying that Genesis 1:2 follows Genesis 1:1 in chronological sequence, then in no sense is the latter a "summary" of the former; rather the former is a continuation of the latter. That is the normal way to understand these verses – because that is what they say on their face. The problem here, historically, has been the failure to see that the continuation is not instantaneous but follows a long GAP of time. So that mistake is what the study is dedicated to explaining. The alternative theory or "summary" theory, wants understand Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2ff. as covering the same time period (also, there is a problem with the interpretation of Genesis 2:4, but that is another issue).

So I think the "problem" is the use of the word "summary" for what you seem to be asking about in this latest email.

Seeing 1:2 as continuing 1:1 immediately is not "silly" – it's just incorrect and biblically problematic for the many reasons clear even in English versions and outlined in SR 2 and elsewhere.

If that doesn't clear things up, please ask your question again (and please refrain from using the word "summary" if possible since that seems to be at the root of the confusion). It may be that the people you're dealing with are trying to have it both ways (I've seen a lot of sloppy thinking in this regard), but if 1:1 is the creation, then 1:2 is after that and not including that.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #18: 

Hi Bob,

Sorry for the confusion. I think we're more on the right track now. Trying to refrain from the summary language:

Unless I'm missing something, the bit of SR2 I quoted is not addressing the position that you just described in what I have quoted. As I understand it, this position takes 1:1 and 1:2ff. in sequence but views the continuation as instantaneous -- the issue is in not perceiving the gap.

The position addressed in the bit of SR2 I quoted above (what I have been calling the "summary position" -- although this seems to have just muddled things) is different from the instantaneous continuation position because it is taking 1:1 and 1:2ff. as having overlapping time-frames (so rather than 1:1 preceding 1:2ff. in sequence, they overlap in whatever way).

To pull us back full circle, why I started asking all of this is because it seemed to me in putting together my own writing that the overlapping time-frames position is not the "normal way" to understand these verses, but that some form of continuation position is instead (just as you say). Yet, when things are first-presented in SR2, it seems the overlapping time-frames position is addressed but not the position of instantaneous continuation. (Unless I'm being very dense and the "summary interpretation" mentioned in the quoted SR2 text is the instantaneous continuation position rather than the overlapping time-frames position).

I figured there was a reason for why SR2 is presented in the way it is -- that is, why the instantaneous continuation position is not addressed in that particular quoted part of SR2 where the gap is first introduced. That's more or less what I am trying to figure out.

I'm not sure where the disconnect is, but you seem to be misreading me. I am not asking about any position with overlapping time-frames. I am asking about the position that people take where a) 1:1 and 1:2ff. are taken to be sequential not overlapping (i.e., 1:1 happens first, then 1:2ff.), and b) 1:2ff. is taken to follow directly on the heels of 1:1 with no gap or delay.

I don't think I can put my questions much clearer than I did in my last email, but perhaps reading what I wrote in light of what I just said will help? All my confusion stems from the fact that I agree with you that any "overlapping position" makes no sense -- but it seems to me that SR2 addresses that line of thought much more explicitly than the one I just stated above (which seems to me to be less nonsensical and therefore worthy of refutation).

I'm sorry for dragging this out, but I'm still not sure we are communicating on the same wavelength here.

In Christ,

Response #18: 

Re: "I am asking about the position that people take where a) 1:1 and 1:2ff. are taken to be sequential not overlapping (i.e., 1:1 happens first, then 1:2ff.), and b) 1:2ff. is taken to follow directly on the heels of 1:1 with no gap or delay."

??? Addressing the above is the whole thrust of SR 2, namely, to show that there IS a gap rather than the more prominent (and incorrect) evangelical position which does not see a gap.

I suppose this confusion is a result of starting points. You have come up under this ministry and so it probably seems natural to you that there is a gap plainly present, but most evangelicals willfully ignore it.

The Genesis 1:1 summary theory is the only other major theory out there which is internally consistent (even though it is even fraught with trouble), namely, seeing Genesis as mere literature and seeking to explain away the first verse as a summary in order to cast out ex nihilo creation as a biblical principle. Speiser in his Anchor Bible commentary on Genesis is typical, appealing to Ugaritic literature to prove that such things are possible. The bottom line is that any fair reading of Genesis 1:1 is that it describes creation as instantaneous, but that Genesis 1:2 describes a situation which cannot precede it (since nothing existed prior) but which is not consistent with an instantaneous and perfect creation, and that the seven days which follow are not instantaneous but a process – a process of RE-creation as SR 2 demonstrates (link), the reason for which is the Satanic rebellion which took place during the Gap.

So the thrust of SR 2 deals with problem interpretation #1 ("no gap"); but I also had to deal there with problem interpretation #2 (i.e., "it's only a summary so not proof of ex nihilo creation").

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #19:  

Hi Bob,

I think I've finally "got" what's going on here. I asked our friend to take a look at the same thing to hear his thoughts, and here's what he said:

I think I understand. On the one hand, just as you never quite notice the air around you, when something is pretty much the ambience, it's harder to notice it even as you deal with it. Someone who holds the view that there was no gap would instantly notice that the entire study attacks his position. And if he tries to escape from it to the one about summaries, he would instantly find no place of rest either. You, on the other hand, would not notice, because the gap position is normal to you.

So, it seems clear and obvious to me why he wrote the way that he wrote. It was very aggressive against the no-gap position, and it would be very obviously so to anyone reading from that position, as I did myself. You only notice the summaries, because you are at ease with the gap position.

On the other hand, Professor Robert is a scholar too, so he would be very sensitive to scholarly positions that are inimical to the faith. So, his writing can make it obvious that he is taking a deliberate and obvious position as a scholar too.

I think that you did very well to ask him why he did what he did. Understanding the workings of one's mentor's mind can help one to make their own autonomous decisions. So I would encourage you to go on doing so. I don't think he minds.

I've been "on board" with the gap position ever since I first read this stuff back in 2014. At that time, I must have just not registered the summary position as much since it wasn't something on my radar. But now that I'm coming at this from the perspective of a teacher, it registered much more, but the arguments against the gap (that I already fully agree with) just don't pop out as noticeably. I guess.

Mystery solved!

Thanks for sticking with me on this.

In Christ,

Response #19: 

Hooray for our friend! If I could just get him a position on the editorial boards of the journals I publish in, I'd get a lot more in print and a lot more easily too!

Hope the exchange was helpful for you in any case.

Looking forward to your website going live!

Keeping you and your family and your job in my daily prayers.

In Jesus.

Bob L.

Question #20: 

Dr. Luginbill,

I consider myself a babe in Christ, although I do possess some knowledge of the bible and have a title at the church that I attend. Yet as a bible student seeking to teach the word in spirit and in truth, I am puzzled as to the reason why gen.1-2 is never talked about. My question concerning this is why can I not or should I say where can I find information concerning these verses. In other words where can It find information on what happened to cause the world to be flooded, I have gathered that was because of Satan's rebellion, okay, but how long was the gap between verses 1 and 2 about. What about pre-Adamites and periods of ice age that I believe occurred during this time period please help me understand so I may be able to answer questions posed to me concerning these things as I reveal them to the unknowing.

Also I understand that the world was created to be inhabited (before the creation of Adam, hence pre-Adamites) but where can I find information about that. I would appreciate any and all answers, suggestions and comments on this subject.

Response #20: 

Good to make your acquaintance.

First, there is a great deal about all these topics posted at Ichthys and I will give you some of the links below.

Some of these questions are not answerable with specificity. We do know that there was a gap because it is right there in Genesis between verses one and two, fairly obvious in the English of most versions and unmistakable in the Hebrew (link).

We can tell from the evidence of geology and archaeology that the gap between original creation and God's reconstruction of the heavens and the earth during the seven Genesis days appears to have been very long indeed. On the other hand, there are also possible mitigations to this length: 1) "appearance of age", that is to say, when God created Adam and Eve on the sixth day, they appeared to be in their mid-twenties / early thirties it seems, being fully grown and mature physically – but in fact they weren't even a day old; 2) the "solid state assumption fallacy", that is to say, just as we cannot trust carbon 14 dating because we cannot actually predict the actual temporal arc of decay, we can only "project" backwards based upon what has been observed in the last couple of centuries (and there is no reason we should assume that the decay follows a straight line graph), so also we do not know what conditions were like before the Genesis gap. For example, a fossilized tree with ten thousand rings might have grown in conditions where a ring was formed every week in terms of present time (seasons do not predate the great flood, for example; see the link).

In other words, absent specific statements in scripture, we would be wrong to "go beyond what is written" where we have no basis for doing so (1Cor.4:6). We know there was a gap; we have reason to believe it was a long one; but we cannot say how long. Not that it matters. Angels do not age, after all, and they were the only life forms with the image of God around before Adam and Eve.

One thing it would really be irresponsible to assume is that there was any "pre-Adamite" race around before the gap. There is nothing in the Bible about that, and since mankind was created as God's solution to the satanic rebellion, no reason for such. The discovery of a handful of fossils which cannot be unequivocally placed before the gap or which could very well have been some different species of apes is no basis for doubting what scripture has to say (or in this case, building theories on what it does not say).

This is not to say that there is not a great deal of extra-biblical speculation on these matters. People "want to know", but a good Bible teaching ministry will only teach them what can be known through direct statements of scripture or solid interpretation of it, not what can't be known – and believe me there is enough of the former to keep you busy for a life time.

Here are some of those links (which will lead to more):

SR 1:  Satan's revolt and fall from grace

SR 2: The Genesis Gap

Gap and appearance of age

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers VI

In Jesus,

Bob L.

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